Former NFL receiver Desmond Howard believes that Saturday’s workout for free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, is an NFL “PR stunt.”
The NFL has arranged for Kaepernick to work out for interested teams on Saturday in Atlanta at the Falcons’ facility.
Kaepernick, who started the anthem-kneeling movement in 2016 while with the San Francisco 49ers, has been out of the NFL the last two-and-half seasons, and feels teams have colluded against signing him due to his activism. He sued the NFL for collusion and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Why did Kaepernick start the anthem-kneeling movement?
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL.com after the first game he kneeled in the summer of 2016. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and [police] getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Howard, a former Heisman Trophy winner, called the NFL’s Saturday workout for Kaepernick “disingenuous.”
“I think it’s PR stunt, a disingenuous attempt to try and say, ‘Hey, we gave the guy an opportunity to get to the NFL whoever wanted to come.’ It’s like a theater. It’s like a movie. Written, directed, scripted, and produced by the NFL for their own PR purposes,” Howard said on ESPN Wednesday morning.
On the same ESPN show, former NFL safety Ryan Clark also blasted the NFL for the workout.
“This seems like a set up, this workout; a way to distance themselves from the blackball talk, a way to distance themselves from “We don’t want Colin Kaepernick as a part of this league or part of the NFL,'” Clark said.
Kaepernick says he’s “can’t wait” for the workout.
“I’m just getting word from my representatives that the NFL league office reached out to them about a workout in Atlanta on Saturday,” Kaepernick tweeted on Tuesday. “I’ve been in shape and ready for this for 3 years, can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday.”
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Kaepernick’s representatives would’ve preferred the workout take place on a Tuesday, not a Saturday, because less NFL team brass will be able to attend on a Saturday.
Saturday is the day before most NFL games, so it will be difficult for many coaches and general managers to attend, as they are preparing for, or traveling to, their Sunday games. Tuesday is often the day teams schedule free agent workouts since that’s an off-day for their current players.
An NFL source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson the Dallas Cowboys have “interest” in sending a representative to the work out.
The workout will include on-field drills and team interviews. For teams that can’t attend, the NFL will provide video of the workouts and interviews. The workout will not be open to the media.
Clark thinks it “smells” that the NFL won’t move the work out to Tuesday.
“There are not going to be GM’s there, there are not going to be coaches there,” Clark said. “And I believe Colin Kaepernick and his team is savvy enough to understand that, but when you try and move it to Tuesday, you try to get different things done, and they won’t do it, that smells to me.”
Kaepernick’s representatives said in October the former University of Nevada QB has been “working out five days a week, for three years, in preparation to play again”
On Saturday, he will get a chance to show his wares.